The acting head of the Small Business Administration is leaving Washington behind to join Northeast Bank in Lewiston, Maine.

Jeanne Hulit will become president of the bank's Northeast community banking division in mid-February, according to a recent press release. Hulit has served as acting administrator of the SBA since September, filling the spot left vacant when administrator Karen Mills resigned after four years with the agency. President Obama nominated veteran banker Maria Contreras-Sweet as the next SBA head earlier this month.

"I am thrilled and excited for this opportunity," Hulit said in the release. "Northeast Bank is a well-respected, growing community bank in New England and I will make sure our customers in Maine get the care and quality they have come to expect over the years. Together, we are going to create more economic opportunities throughout the region and provide more credit to local businesses so they succeed and grow."

Before taking over for Mills, Hulit was the associate administrator for the SBA's Office of Capital Access. Her responsibilities in that position included overseeing, simplifying and streamlining the agency's lending programs. Hulit joined the SBA as its New England regional administrator in August 2009.

Hulit brings 18 years of experience in the banking industry to her new role at Northeast. She has served as senior vice president for commercial lending at Citizens Bank, a division of RBS Citizens Financial Group, and as vice president and middle market lender at Key Bank, a division of KeyCorp (KEY). She also served as deputy director of the international division at the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

The $720 million-asset Northeast Bank is owned by Northeast Bancorp (NBN).

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